Fashion photographer Peter Gowland dies at 93

Peter Gowland, an innovative fashion photographer who invented elite cameras and equipment that he used to shoot pinups and magazine covers for six decades, has died. He was 93.

Gowland's business partner and wife of 68 years, Alice, told the Los Angeles Times in a Sunday story that Gowland died March 17 at his Los Angeles home of complications from hip surgery. He was 93.

Gowland shot more than 1,000 magazine covers, mostly glamour shots of female models but also portraits of celebrities like Rock Hudson and Robert Wagner. His covers included Rolling Stone, Playboy, See and Modern Photography.

He usually worked in and around the home and studio in Pacific Palisades he and his wife built in 1955. The pair erected scaffolding around the swimming pool and designed a trough that could create a waterfall pouring over a model.

In the late 1950s, Gowland also invented the twin-lens Gowlandflex camera, which used 4-by-5 inch film for high-quality pictures and has since been used by photographers like Annie Leibovitz and and Yousuf Karsh.

Born in Hollywood in 1916 to actors Gibson Gowland and Sylvia Andrew, Peter Gowland grew up on movie sets and worked as film extra in his youth. He learned photo lighting and techniques from watching movies shot, but learned to love still photos more.

He met Alice Gowland when her boyfriend asked him to take her picture. The pair had their first date on the day Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, and two weeks later were married in Las Vegas.

When Peter Gowland was drafted during World War II, Alice found success selling the amateur pinup pictures he had been taking on Southern California beaches. When he returned from the war the two began their business together.

She sold and catalogued his photos and helped scantily clad models relax in front of his camera.

Along with his magazine and poster work, Gowland authored 26 books on photography and lectured on the subject around the country.

Gowland is survived by his wife and two daughters.

© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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